Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs & Defence, Matt Carthy TD, has welcomed the government’s announced reforms to the command structure of the Irish Defence Forces.
Deputy Carthy said that while this was one important aspect of the Commission on the Defence Forces (COFDF) it is imperative that government follow-through with the implementation of other key recommendations of the commission report.
This week’s government proposal will establish a new position of Chief of the Defence Forces (CHOD) with additional powers to the current Chief of Staff.
Teachta Carthy said:
“I broadly welcome the announced reforms to the command structure of the Defence Forces and will engage constructively with legislative proposals in this regard. However, it must be followed by the implementation of other key recommendations of the Commission on the Future of the Defence Forces.
“Sinn Féin stand ready to work with government to deliver on recommendations from the Report of the Commission on the Future of the Defence Forces, and we will be bringing forward our own proposals in terms of capital investment, reform and development of international security policy which must be centred upon our position as a neutral stateand our commitment to peacekeeping missions.
“That said, government should note that any reforms or capital investment will be pointless unless it is coupled with immediate measures to address the recruitment and retention crisis within the Defence Forces. As a first step government must ensure the prompt implementation of the Working Time Directive.”